Congress government in Kerala on Thursday accorded a reception for Pakistani ghazal mastreo Ustad Ghulam Ali who would stage concerts in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode in the next two days.
Shiv Sena activists burned the effigy of Ghulam Ali in front of the hotel where the function was held in tight police security. Sena had demanded cancellation of the event against the backdrop of the terror strike at Pathankot IAF base.
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Ali, who is treated as a state guest, had reached Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday night. The reception was addressed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and several other political leaders and cultural activists.
Ali was given the global legendary award of the Swaralaya, an organisation promoting classical art and music. He was also garlanded and given mementos by represenatives of the government and cultural organisations.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that the reception accorded to Ali demonstrated the rich cultural tradition of the state.
A group of Shiv Sena activists marched towards the venue to protest, but the police prevented them from disrupting the reception.